Tablighi Jamaat Member Sends Defamation Notices to Times Group, Outlook, IANS

Date:

Clarion India

NEW DELHI — Even as a vilification campaign is going on against Tablighi Jamaat on the mainstream and social media, a prominent member of the organisation based in Bangalore has initiated legal proceedings against at least five media companies.

Hafeezulla Khan, the member of the Jamaat, sent notices, through a legal firm called Prime Law Associates, to Times group, Outlook India news magazine, Diajiworld Karnataka, Ennexa Technologies Kerala and IANS wire service, for publishing “defamatory content” against the organisation on their respective platforms.

Speaking to Clarion India, Syed Akmal Razvi, a lawyer at the firm, said that the notices have been served on these companies with a claim for damages against defamation of Tablighi Jamaat linking it to terrorist outfits.

Through the notice, a copy of which was made available to Clarion India, Khan demanded Rs 1 crore from Times Now as damages for causing mental agony to him through what he called as false and baseless reports published on the website.

The Times Now, which is known for its right wing bias, had published a news item alleging that the Tablighi Jamaat has historical links with Pakistan based militant outfits like Harkat ul Mujahideen. The report alleged that the founders of the outfit were members of the Jamaat. The notice dismissed the allegations as baseless.

Ever since the Nizamuddin Markaz of Tablighi Jamaat emerged one of the major Coronavirus clusters, a campaign of calumny is being carried out by mainstream news channels, newspapers and social media that reeked of Islamophobia. The news reports and prime time debates on TV channels held Tablighi Jamaat responsible for deliberately spreading the Coronavirus.

Among several other allegations, the Times Now article accused Jamaat members of being involved in the Godhra incident in which 59 Hindu volunteers were burnt when a train was set on fire. Citing reports of intelligence agencies and media leaks, the article alleged that the Al Qaeda suspects responsible for 9/11 had stayed with Tablighi Jamaat’s Nizamuddin Markaz.

The notice terms these accusations as “tissue of lies” intended to malign the Tablighi Jamaat.

According to the notice, Khan is likely to file a criminal case against the companies under Section 499 of the IPC for defamation.

Khan has issued an ultimatum to the news outlets to publish an unconditional apology and retract the allegations with corrigendum stating that the Jamaat has no links with any terror outfits if they wanted to avoid legal action against them.

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